Sunday 17 November 2019

Rick Astley charity fundraiser pulls out of challenge after online troll abuse

Rick Astley sent a good luck message
Rick Astley sent a good luck message

Online trolls have forced a man to abandon his bid to spend four days locked up in a hotel room listening only to Rick Astley's hit Never Gonna Give You Up.

Jack White's 75-hour challenge was being streamed live on YouTube but offensive comments posted on the live chat feed led to him giving it up.

In a Facebook video, choirmaster Mr White, 23, said the final straw came when trolls started targeting his seven-year-old nephew when he tried to comment.

Mr White, from Southampton, said: "Comments that flooded the live stream were some of the most difficult, offensive and rude things I have ever had to read.

"The fact that my family were at home completely defenceless reading it too made it incredibly hard for me to continue."

He added: "Even the strongest person in the world would have struggled to have read some of those comments."

Astley's 1980s hit, which has undergone a revival thanks to the spread of the online prank known as Rickrolling, was due to play 2,500 times during the stunt.

Mr White's brother James has now agreed to finish the challenge, which started on Friday and ends on Monday, in aid of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Mr White had gained the support of Astley himself, who wrote on Facebook: "This is the definition of crazy!! Good luck Jack, all the best, Rick X."

His £2,000 fundraising target has been broken, with 195 donations being made by Saturday afternoon sending the figure to more than £2,700.

One donor wrote: "I don't have much to donate but I wanted to say that these nasty trolls will only make more people donate, forget them we are proud of you, so well done, sir!"

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